EARLY DAYS 1983-1985

Mamod 1 exploring the first few lengths of track to be laid. The track was Merlin track consisting of sheet steel pressed into a keyhole section and clipped into dovetail slots in wooden sleepers

The first length of track bed consisted of concrete moulded arches leading past Ashbroom Halt into a cutting and out on to the curved embankment across Rugeley Bridge 


Mamod 1 stopping for a while at Ashbroom Halt with ex-Ashover Light Railway coach repainted and lettered in NHLR livery

Looking back towards Rugeley Bridge in the distance. After crossing the bridge the train has crossed a pathway crossing and entered the deep cutting curving towards Beech Bridge

In the early days when the line was being laid this section of ground level track was laid directly into the gravel ballast. Beech Bridge can be see in the far distance.

Herrington Junction was a substantial triangular junction linking the main line with the operating area and sidings. It included a 6' tunnel. Here Lady Beatrice is running past bunker first on the main line with a freight train. The branch to the operating area via the tunnel can just be picked out in the cutting in the background

A busy day on the railway! An overhead view over the operating area looking westwards towards Herrington Junction. The left hand line leads straight through to the main line while the right hand line curves through a cutting to the main line in the opposite direction

Return train crossing the rather primitive Rugeley Bridge

Some time after the opening of the line we see 'Lady Beatrice' and the luxury clerestory coach passing under Beech Bridge

A later view with the track well established and rather more vegetation surrounding the railway. Here Lady Beatrice heads towards  Herrington Junction.

A visiting engine, believed to be a 'Little Wonder' Class loco called 'Lady Susan' is seen passing the other branch into the operating area.

Lady Beatrice departing the operating area with a full head of steam and a two coach train. It has clearance to join the main line.

Back on the main line the raised concrete section curves gently westwards again towards the arches. Here a lengthy special excursion train heads off for the day.